Images Of Ireland

 

I Don't See Annie Anymore

Standing by the red rust gate
where it joins onto the post.
Waiting on a Saturday
for the time I loved the most.

The Derry bus crawls over Drim
It's progress like the clock.
Perhaps it won't reach Rushfield Lane
and maybe it won't stop.

Granny's voice calls laughing
"Any sign of her?"
Sleeves rolled up from baking
and apron full of flour.

 


Aunt Annie & Me

Up top the post I scramble
Eyes keen like the hawk.
My Aunt Annie's coming
around big Rushfield rock.

With comic books and chocolate bars
and company for play.
Annie made it heaven
On a summer Saturday.

But trees and time have covered up
unlike those days before.
I cannot see the big rock.
And I don't see Annie anymore.

Copyright 2000 Owen Brennan


Rushfield lane where it comes around the big rock, Innishowen, County Donegal 
by Owen Brennan

This Place Called Ireland

 

"So peaceful and calmly this place it seems to be,
Yet I stare at it sadly for its thru a picture I see,
this land far,far away from mine
I watch the clock in patient time
for someday soon I'll touch the sand
of this calm place called Ireland.
 
I can hear the Atlantic pounding so hard
I can see the sun set by a still grave yard.
I can feel the mist of a small seaport.
I can feel the awe of Powerscourt*.
 
I can feel the releif of the dew-settled field
that in due time its crops will yield.
I can hear the wolves crying out on the moor.
I can taste the taste of the streams so pure
So, someday soon, (I'm hoping) I'll be able to stand,
and say I've finally made it to this place called Ireland."
 
Copyright Chantal O'Connor
*Powerscourt is a mansion near the region of the rivers Dargle, Glencree, and Glencullen. 

 

The Sick Note

Dear Sir, I write this note to you to tell you of my plight
For at the time of writing, I'm not a pretty sight
Me body is all black and blue, me face a deathly gray
And I write this note to say why Murphy's not at work today

While working on the 14th floor, some bricks I had to clear
But to toss them down from such a height was not a good idea
The foreman wasn't very pleased, he is an awkward sod
He said I'd have to cart them down the ladders in me hod.

Now shifting all those bricks by hand it was so very slow
So I hoisted up a barrel and secured a rope below
But in me haste to do the job I was to blind to see
That a barrel full of building bricks was heavier than me

And so when I untied the rope, the barrel fell like lead
And clinging tightly to the rope, I started up instead
I shot up like a rocket, till my dismay I found
That half-way up I met the barrel coming down

Now the barrel broke me shoulder, as to the ground it sped
And when I reached the top, I banged the pulley with me head
I clung on tightly numb with shock, from this almighty blow
And the barrel spilled out half the bricks some 14 floors below

Now! when these bricks had fallen from the barrel to the floor
I then outweighed the barrel and so started down once more
Still clinging tightly to the rope, me body wracked with pain
And half way down I met the bloody barrel once again

Now the force of this collision half way down the office block
Caused multiple abrasions and a nasty state of shock
Still clinging tightly to the rope, I fell towards the ground
And I landed on the broken bricks scattered all around

I lay there groaning on the ground, I thought I'd past the worst
But the barrel hit the pulley wheel and then the bottom burst
A shower of bricks rained down on me, I didn't have a hope
As I lay there bleeding on the ground I let go of the bloody rope

Now, the barrel then being heavier, it started down once more
It landed right across me as.., I lay there on the floor
It broke three ribs and my left arm and I can only say
I hope you'll understand why Paddy's not at work today

written by Pat Cooksey

The Dubliners do a good version of this.

 

The Elf Man
There was a little elf man once, down by the river grove,
I asked him why he was so small and why he did not grow....
He slightly frowned and with an eye, he looked me through and through,
"I'm Quite as big for me he said, as you are big for you"

My thanks to Theresa Amies from Australia who sent me this lovely wee poem. The poem was told to her as a child by her mum who was from Dublin.

 

 

A Little Bit Of Ireland

"You're my little bit of Ireland"
that's what you used to say
and from my eyes fall teardrops
that taste of Irish clay
for I feel my life a mountain
that rises from a sea
of Irish songs and memories
that wash you back to me.

Elizabeth Gallagher

I Will Bury You

I will bury you with wisdom
Bury you with pearls
Wrap you in a peaty earth
That kisses every curl.

I will take your body, warm still,
Bury you with grace
Clothe you with the darkness moist
Reflected in your face.

I will carry you inside me
Bury you with pain
Wake you in the smallest times
And bring you back again.

Elizabeth Gallagher

Two beautiful pieces of poetry from Elizabeth Gallagher. "A little bit of Ireland" written about her mother in England and "I will bury you" is about the Irish father she never knew.

 

 

The Mark of the Bard

The old one lay in stillness, hands crossed upon his breast
The young ones came to see him, peaceful in his rest
No more the music came from him, no more the laughing gale
No more the fire of passion in a quiet winter's tale.

Then a young one rose from his place and he began to sing
His hands were quick and agile, making the harp strings ring.
The music then poured out of him, remembering the old bard's life
He sang of honor and of faith, he sang of truth and light.

Then the pipes wailed out, their lament filling the hall
The music of sorrow crying, filling the hearts of all
One by one they came to him, the last sight of him in this world
Each hand that touched, each tear that dropped, a memory of a heart stilled.

But know ye all this truth, forever the bard's music lives on
It beats in the hearts of those hearing it and they pass it in their own song.
So mourn not the death of the passing Bard, nor give up his ghost to the end
But bend your ear to the music and hear his heart on the wind.

Copyright 1999 Caitlin Mansell

Caitlin wrote this beautiful poem as a tribute to her father on the anniversary of his passing. Please visit her website at http://www.sunflower.com/~caitlin/index.html

In the Glade

Wind sighing, tree limbs swaying
Listen and you will hear the song.
Faint harp playing, the owl crying
Of days that are now long gone.
Moon riding high on a cloud tossed sea
Shining silver in the glade below.
Shadows dancing, moonlight playing
On a dance done long ago.
Hands touching, eyes catching
Shining in the fey touched light.
Hearts racing, breath sighing
Ancient love is afoot tonight.

Copyright Caitlin Mansell

You can visit Caitlin's website at http://www.sunflower.com/~caitlin/index.html

 

 

 Eire in the Family

They have good hearts,
these distant kin
strangers who wear my uncles' faces,
waves of sea-parted cousins.

To embrace them
I tip too often and too much
They understand the bottle not the punt.
In America they guess
we all be millionaires.

Copyright 1996 Betty Hufford

Lovely wee insight from Betty Hufford. It's not the custom to tip in Ireland we think that people in the service industry should get a decent wage in their pay packets, we think that it's expensive enough to eat out or buy a round of drinks without having to hand out extra. But when the shoe's on the other foot and you work in a pub or restaurant an American visitor is as welcome as the flowers in May. Yes Betty you're right, I guess we do think that all Americans are wealthy.  Betty would be happy for you to contact her at  BettyHufford@aol.com   

 

 

Spare me the lecture, Father

Spare me the lecture, Father -
I'm goin' t' hell an' we both know it
An' all the choirs an' blather
Won't but start me sufferin' years

Before me 'lotted time. Ye'd make
The Devil's work a damned sight quicker
If'n I weren't deaf in both ears twice before me wake -
Fer all yer moanin' fer me soul

Spare me the lecture, Father -
I'm goin' t' hell an' we both know it
Aye, an' it don't seem right a man should suffer
Twice fer the same sin.

Kevin Taylor

Kevin Taylor is an Irish writer living on the west coast of Canada.
You can visit Kevin's web-site at:

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Bistro/8066


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Owen Brennan
Copyright 1998 belongs with the original authors. All rights reserved.
Revised: August 09, 2002.